New data paints Aussies in a very unflattering light

Australians are among the world's laziest.

A new study has revealed that Australians are among the laziest in the world, with the US coming off only slightly worse.

The study by Stanford University researchers, published in the Nature journal, used the smartphone data of over 700,000 people around the world to determine which countries were the most active, or, in the case of little old us, the most lazy based on the average amount of steps they took each day.

Australia was ranked the 19th laziest country, with Aussies taking an average of only 4,941 steps each day, which isn’t much higher than the overall laziest nation, Indonesia, which took out the dubious honour of overall laziest country at 3,513 steps per day.

Saudi Arabia was second, followed by Malaysia and the Philippines.

Perhaps surprisingly to many Aussies, the US was only a fraction worse than us, with 4,774 steps walked per day. 

Ad. Article continues below.

The overall average number of steps taken across the globe each day is 5,000, which considering 10,000 steps is the number of daily steps recommended to maintain health and fitness, is pretty alarming. 

Read more: Why owning a dog can drastically change your life

Are you wondering which countries are the most active in the world?

It may surprise you to learn that the top spot went to Hong Kong, with the population walking an average of almost 7,000 steps a day, or approximately six kilometres. China was the runner-up with an average of 6,189 steps walked each day, followed by Ukraine, Japan, Russia, Spain and Sweden.

The study also found that countries with a bigger gap between the most active and most lazy had higher rates of obesity, and that those who were obese were less worried about the number of steps they took each day. 

Ad. Article continues below.

Perhaps surprisingly, it showed too that in the less active countries, men walked more steps than women, while in the fitter countries they were close to the same. 

“Our findings have implications for global public health policy and urban planning and highlight the role of activity inequality and the built environment in improving physical activity and health,” the researchers said. 

Do the finding surprise you, or would you have expected that?